Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet

Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet: A Chicken Showdown

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Now I know what you’re thinking – chickens, really? But hear me out.

I’ve been raising chickens in my backyard for years now, and let me tell you, those ladies have personality!

When I first started out, I was just as clueless about chicken breeds as the next guy.

But after plenty of trial and error (and cleaning up after way too many feathered friends), I’ve learned a thing or two about which chickens are right for which backyard farmer.

Like that one time I brought home those spunky Golden Comets.

I’d heard they were excellent egg layers and would earn their keep with a constant supply of breakfast.

Well, let’s just say that those crazy birds lived up to their name and refused to stay in the coop!

I was chasing comets all over the neighborhood trying to get them home every night.

Not my finest moment.

Eventually I wised up and got myself a nice flock of chilled out Buff Orpingtons.

Now those are some chickens!

They’re docile, make good mommas, and lay a respectable number of beautiful brown eggs.

Most importantly, they actually go in the coop at night instead of trying to roost in my neighbor’s peach tree!

So in this post, I’m going to compare the Buff Orpington and Golden Comet chicken breeds so you can avoid the mistakes I made.

Whether you’re looking for lots of eggs, a friendly pet, or a good momma hen for your flock, I’ve got you covered.

Egg Production

When it comes to pumping out eggs, Golden Comets are the clear winners. A good Golden Comet can lay up to 280 eggs per year, sometimes even more! That’s about 5-6 eggs per week.

Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet

They start laying early too, around 4-5 months old. Once they get going, they just don’t quit. We’re talking eggs for days, folks.

Buff Orpingtons, on the other hand, are much less prolific layers. You can expect 150-180 eggs from a Buff Orpington in a year, so about 3-4 eggs per week.

They usually start laying closer to 6 months old. The eggs themselves are a nice large brown color and size. But if you’re looking to maximize your egg harvest, Golden Comets are the way to go.

In my experience, what the Golden Comets lacked in staying power they made up for in egg production. When they were in their coop, they were popping out eggs like nobody’s business.

I’d collect 6-8 eggs a day sometimes. The only downside was when they busted loose from the coop, their egg laying took a hiatus until I tracked them down.

The Buff Orpingtons in my flock have always maintained a steady egg laying schedule – nothing to write home about, but consistent.

As long as I let them out of the coop each day, they reward me with a brown egg or two to start my morning right. Given their more mellow temperament, the Buffies tend to stick around the coop and keep providing those daily eggs without issue.

Temperament

In the personality department, Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets are total opposites. Golden Comets are active, flighty, and generally high strung.

Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet

They forage aggressively and can be jumpy around humans. While their energy makes them proficient egg layers, it also makes them more difficult to handle.

Golden Comets are notoriously restless – always on the move and raring to go. Some owners describe them as flighty, squirrelly, and jittery.

They are easily spooked by loud noises, sudden movements, and unfamiliar objects or people. Though curious, their nervous nature stops them from being very friendly or affectionate.

Trying to hold or pet a Golden Comet is an exercise in futility. They don’t take well to human handling and don’t appreciate cuddling. These independent chickens would rather you keep your distance. The only time they stay still is when roosting at night or laying their daily egg.

On the flip side, Buff Orpingtons are total sweethearts. They have a very calm, docile, mellow temperament that makes them a joy to have around. Buff Orpingtons don’t get worked up easily and tend to amble along at their own relaxed pace. They are extremely people friendly and don’t mind human interaction.

Buff Orpingtons will follow their owners around the yard like loyal puppies. They don’t mind being held or petted either. Even kids can handle Buff Orpingtons with ease. Their laidback personality makes them one of the best chicken breeds for families looking for an interactive backyard pet.

Based on my experience, Buff Orpingtons win the temperament contest hands down. Their gentle, affectionate nature is the complete opposite of those flighty Golden Comets. As long as you gave them space and plenty of room to roam, the Comets did fine. But for a friendly chicken that loved people, I’ll take a chilled out Buff Orpington any day.

Broodiness

If you’re looking to let a hen raise some chicks, Buff Orpingtons make fabulous momma birds. They tend to have a very strong broody instinct and will readily incubate a clutch of eggs for 21 days. Buff Orpington hens are attentive mothers who will shelter, warm, and protect their chicks once they hatch.

You can easily set a Buff Orpington on a nest full of fertilized eggs, let her do her thing for 3 weeks, and end up with a sweet little flock of fluffy chicks for her to raise. She’ll look after them vigilantly until they feather out and are ready to join the rest of the flock.

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Golden Comets, on the other hand, rarely have much interest in sitting on eggs. Their high energy levels and focus on laying means they don’t have much time for brooding. Golden Comets would much rather keep pumping out eggs than nest and hatch them. So if natural incubation is your goal, look to the Buff Orpington every time.

I learned this lesson when I tried to get one of my Golden Comets to set on some fertilized eggs. She reluctantly stayed on the nest overnight, but come morning, she was off the eggs and wanting back out to peck around the pen. Meanwhile, my dutiful Buffy hunkered down on her clutch and didn’t leave for over three weeks! A few weeks later I had a gaggle of adorable Buff Orpington chicks scurrying around.

Appearance

These two breeds look as different as their personalities. Golden Comets have tight, slim bodies with long, curved necks. They hold their prominent tails at a 45 degree angle. Their comb and wattles are bright red. Plumage is mainly a reddish-brown color with black-and-white flecks mixed throughout their feathers.

Golden Comets have sleek, aerodynamic bodies built for activity and laying on the move. The roosters sport long, flowing hackle and saddle feathers along with long, tapered tail coverts. Hens are slender and streamlined. Overall, the Golden Comet has a very active, slimmed down appearance.

Buff Orpingtons have a heavy, broad body structure with a short but full tail. Their feathering is loose and fluffy. As their name suggests, Buff Orpingtons are a solid golden-buff color throughout. The roosters are a slightly deeper shade than the hens. They have red combs and wattles.

The Orpington’s big, broad build gives them a very stocky, rotund appearance. They look like feathery footballs waddling around the yard. Their abundant feathering and fluffed out plumage makes them appear even larger. Overall a very substantial, broad, heavyset chicken.

When my two flocks free ranged side-by-side, the difference was striking. Those petite Comets darted around while my Buffies lumbered along at a relaxed pace. The Comets were all lean muscle and streamlined feathers. My Buff Orpingtons looked like big, cuddly powder puffs in comparison. Like a cheetah and a bear side by side!

Health Issues

All chickens have their share of health problems, but some breeds are more prone to issues than others. Golden Comets are not known for having many inherent health problems. As an active heritage breed, they are hardy and vigorous when it comes to disease resistance.

Golden Comets don’t have issues with their hearts, respiratory systems, or skeletal structure. Other than the usual external parasites (mites, lice etc), they stay pretty healthy overall. Their lean muscle tissue and high metabolism helps ward off obesity and fowl pox.

Buff Orpingtons, bless their hearts, are prone to several health problems stemming from their stocky build and excessive feathering. Their short legs and big bodies can lead to leg issues and joint problems. The fluffy plumage also provides a perfect home for external parasites.

Obesity is another issue, as the Orpington’s sluggish metabolism can easily lead to excess fat and weight issues. Overgrown toenails are a hazard as well with their wide feet. And the excess mass around their hearts and lungs makes them prone to congestive issues.

Most of my Comets stayed pretty healthy with just the usual mite dustings and checkups. But my poor Buffies needed supplemental vitamins, probiotics, and weekly mite treatments to stay in top shape. Those heavyset hens struggled in the heat and had to stay on a strict diet. Definitely more caretaking needed for the Buff Orps!

Chick Care

Raising happy, healthy chicks starts with choosing the right mama hen, and Buff Orpington hens excel when it comes to caring for babies. Their attentive mothering instincts kick in the moment chicks hatch, and they will remain loyal to their brood until fully grown.

Buff Orpington hens cluck gently while covering chicks with their huge, protective wings. They shelter the chicks from weather and predators and teach them how to find food, dust bathe, and integrate into the flock. Their calm presence provides stability for easily distressed chicks.

If allowed, a Buff Orpington will raise multiple successive broods each year. She patiently teaches each new batch of peeps the chicken essentials and gives them the best start in life. Many chicken keepers rely exclusively on Buff Orps for natural incubation and rearing.

Comet hens, on the other hand, have little to no interest in nurturing chicks. They will lay their eggs then leave them or ignore them completely. If chicks do hatch, Comet mothers offer minimal care and protection. Don’t expect cuddling, clucking, or life lessons!

When I tried hatching chicks with a Golden Comet, she wanted nothing to do with the babies once they arrived. Those poor peeps had to stumble along on their own with no mama to show them the ropes. Thank heavens my faithful Buff was there to scoop them under her wing and raise them right!

Cost

You’ll shell out different amounts depending on which breed you choose. Golden Comet chicks can be found for $2-5 each, while Buff Orpington chicks cost $4-10. The price difference stems from the Comet’s commercial breeding and the Orpington’s popularity as a backyard chicken.

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For started pullets around 16-20 weeks old, expect to pay $15-25 for a Golden Comet and $20-35 for a Buff Orpington. Again, Buffies fetch a higher price thanks to demand. But you pay for quality! Roosters are usually about $5 less than hens of the same age and breed.

There’s also a bit of a gap when it comes to the cost of adult birds. Comet hens run $20-30, roosters $15-25. Mature Buff Orpington hens can cost $30-45, roosters $25-40. So while the Comets are cheaper up front, the cost evens out over time.

When building my first flock, I went for the Comets thinking I was getting a good deal. Well, after replacing birds that flew the coop and succumbed to illness, my costs definitely went up over time. In the end, those Buffies were worth every penny for their longevity!

Well there you have it, folks – everything you need to know about Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets! Let me know if you have any other questions. And whatever chickens end up clucking around your backyard, make sure to appreciate their feathery uniqueness. Trust me, life’s a little brighter with chickens around!

Climate Tolerance

When raising chickens, considering your climate is key to keeping your flock healthy and productive. Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets handle hot and cold weather very differently thanks to their differing builds.

Golden Comets are hardy in most climates thanks to their lean build and dense, protective feathers. Their small combs and wattles don’t get frostbitten in cold weather. And their slender bodies dissipate heat easily, preventing overheating.

Golden Comets thrive in cold northern winters as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Their compact feathering traps body heat. As long as they have a draft-free coop, they handle freezing temps and snow with no problems. Ample food and fresh water is a must to fuel their high metabolism.

The breed also tolerates hot, humid summers very well. As long as they have shade and airflow, Golden Comets remain active and continue laying without issues. Temps up to 100 degrees are no match for these hearty chickens!

Buff Orpingtons, on the other hand, are severely impacted by temperature extremes. Their excessive plumage makes them prone to heat stress in summer. They pant and struggle to keep cool in temps over 80 degrees.

Providing ample shade, misters, and ventilation are musts for Buffies in summer. Free access to dust baths also helps them naturally cool their skin. Avoid hot, humid climates if possible when raising Buff Orps.

Frigid winter weather poses issues too. The fluffy feathering that keeps Buffies so toasty also gets wet and matted down in rain or snow. This leaves the hen vulnerable to chill and hypothermia.

Buff Orpingtons need a dry, draft-free coop with thick bedding to burrow into during winter. Keeping their feathers fluffed up and dry is essential. Avoid areas with heavy snow or sleet which can cake onto their dense plumage.

When I kept Comets and Buffies together, the difference in their cold hardiness was striking. Those Comets scratched vigorously in the snow without a care while my shivering Buffies huddled inside. And when summer hit, the Comets laid eggs for me all season while my poor Buffies struggled in the heat. Definitely choose your breed based on climate!

Foraging Behavior

Letting your flock free range provides exercise, natural food, and fresh air. But Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets have very different foraging mannerisms you should consider.

Golden Comets are extremely active foragers that cover impressive amounts of ground. They scratch and peck vigorously from sunrise to sunset. No weed or blade of grass is safe from their foraging fury!

Golden Comets range far and wide if allowed. It’s not unusual for them to wander 100-200 feet from their coop when free ranging. They also forage in small groups, scratching shoulder-to-shoulder as they search for food.

These curious birds explore every nook and cranny in the yard. Free ranging Comets will clear your property of insects, fallen fruit, seeds, and tender greens. Just make sure they can’t squeeze through fences or dig under!

Buff Orpingtons, on the other hand, move very slowly and with purpose when foraging. They stick close to their coop, rarely wandering more than 50 feet away even without fences.

You’ll see Buffies leisurely pecking the ground while meandering solo or in pairs around the yard. They aren’t meticulous foragers – just gentle pecking here and there between naps in the shade. Free range time is more for fresh air than food for the Buffs.

When I released my two flocks after breakfast, the Comets would stream out in a cheerful, energetic herd while my Buffies stuck close to home. Those lively Comets covered every inch of soil, destroying pests and weeds alike. My lazy Buffies? They’d peck lightly, nibble some grass, then waddle off for a good dust bath while the Comets did the heavy foraging.

Noise Level

For folks wanting a quiet backyard flock, noise is a consideration when selecting chicken breeds. Golden Comets and Buff Orpingtons are on opposite ends of the volume spectrum.

Golden Comets are extremely vocal birds. They annouce their egg-laying with sharp cackles and make quite a loud ruckus when jostling for space at feed time. Comet roosters crow frequently and loudly starting before dawn.

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In general, Golden Comets are not a quiet breed. Their active nature and high energy leads to lots of clucking, squabbling, crowing, and carrying on. They get quite loud and chatty throughout the day and don’t quiet down until roosting at night.

Buff Orpingtons, on the other hand, are tranquil and quiet by nature. Hens emit soft, infrequent clucks rather than raucous announcements. Roosters crow gently and tend to wait until a respectable hour.

Overall, the Orpingtons are a peaceful, polite bunch. They seem to chit chat in whispers rather than loud chicken gossip. A few quiet coos while foraging or at mealtime, then silence. Buff Orps won’t add much noise to your day with their hushed manners.

My poor neighbors definitely got an earful from those vocal Golden Comets. The egg song first thing in the morning followed by a chorus of clucks and crows all day left me apologizing profusely. Once I switched to my quiet, polite Buffies, the complaints stopped. If audio peace is essential, Buff Orps are the ladies for you!

Intelligence

Some chicken breeds have a reputation for being more clever and quick to learn. Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets exhibit big differences in their ability to learn routines, tricks, and skills.

Golden Comets are keenly observant and fast learners. They quickly pick up on routines like feeding times, free ranging schedules, and human behaviors. Once a Comet learns something, she remembers it well too.

With training and positive reinforcement, Golden Comets can learn fun tricks like ringing a bell to go outside, playing soccer, or returning to the coop on command. Their natural curiosity makes them receptive to reward based training.

Beyond tricks, Comets easily learn skills like using a chicken swing or ramp to access areas. They understand concepts like “inside” and “outside” readily with minimal coaching. Overall, bright and receptive birds.

Buff Orpingtons are sweet, but learning doesn’t come easily to them. They adapt slowly to new routines and tend to be creatures of habit. Drastic changes unnerve them. Buffies also have short memories, often forgetting learned behaviors overnight.

Training Buffies takes incredible patience and persistence. While they aim to please, concepts and tricks just don’t come naturally. You’ll make progress, then have to repeat lessons day after day. But they’ll happily accept treats, if nothing else!

During my time with both breeds, the difference was clear. Those Comets picked up on my mannerisms immediately and learned little tricks readily. My Buffies took months just to learn their names! But the Buffies made up for it with their eager hugs and kisses after each clumsy attempt at learning. Slow but enthusiastic!

Predator Awareness

Protecting your flock from neighborhood predators like foxes, raccoons, and hawks is essential. Buff Orpingtons and Golden Comets display key differences in their awareness and response to danger.

Golden Comets are very alert birds thanks to their active, high strung nature. They quickly detect predators, often sounding the alarm to alert the flock with anxious cackling, crowing, or frantic clucking.

Comets run from threats rather than freeze. Their lean build and strong wings enable quick getaways by flight or on foot. Comets also watch the skies for aerial predators and seek shelter thanks to their sharp eyesight.

In general, Golden Comets use caution and evasion to stay safe. They learn to identify predators and become increasingly wary and observant. Their own survival instinct keeps the entire flock on high alert.

Buff Orpingtons, unfortunately, are oblivious to predators. Their calm demeanor means they often don’t notice or respond to threats even when other chickens sound the alarm.

Instead of fleeing or taking cover, Buff Orpingtons are more likely to keep pecking away casually. They seem to assume every sound or intruder is harmless, despite evidence to the contrary. Buffies would rather relax than react.

My Comets served as sentinels for the flock. They detected every hawk or neighborhood dog and sent my clueless Buffies scurrying to safety too.

While the Bufs didn’t understand the danger, their blissful ignorance sure was charming. I just had to be extra protective of my oblivious beauties!

Eggstra Special: Buff Orpington vs Golden Comet Face-Off Chart

Buff Orpington Golden Comet
Egg Production 150-180 eggs per year Up to 280 eggs per year
Temperament Calm, docile, friendly Flighty, active, avoid handling
Broodiness Go broody readily Rarely go broody
Appearance Big, broad, fluffy Slim, streamlined, tapered
Health Issues Congestive problems, obesity Hardy, not many issues
Chick Care Excellent mothers Offer minimal care
Cost $4-10 as chicks $2-5 as chicks
Climate Tolerance Prefers mild temps Tolerates extreme cold/heat
Foraging Style Sedentary, stay near coop Active, cover large area
Noise Level Very quiet Noisy, vocal
Intelligence Slow to learn Observant, fast learners
Predator Awareness Oblivious to threats Very alert and evasive
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